The wannabe Dalit messiah, Jignesh Mevani, seems busy tying himself in knots. Instead of taking on the Narendra Modi government for its gross ineptitude and mismanagement of the economy, he is entering into a territory in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its followers are strongest—emotive issues. To make the matters worse for himself and other anti-BJP elements, his fraternization with unsavory elements like ultra-Leftists and Muslim fundamentalists will play in the hands of the saffron establishment.
In his bid to get-successful-quick, Mevani has tied up with Islamists. He has admitted to accepting Rs. 51,000 as a donation from the Popular Front of India (PFI), the terror-linked body in Kerala.
Mevani won his seat as an independent candidate in the recently held Gujarat Assembly elections, but that has a lot to do with the incompetence of the State and Central governments. It is evident that the BJP governments have failed to galvanize economic development and boost employment generation. When Modi won in 2014, the need of the hour was a drastic dose of reforms; what we got instead was ‘incrementalism’ which did little to revive the economy. While on the front the Modi regime exhibited pusillanimity, in his quixotic endeavors—demonetization, the Gauche implementation of Goods & Services Tax (GST)—he showed remarkable zeal and recklessness. Growth has slowed and job creation sluggish; indeed there has been considerable loss of jobs because of demonetization.
Then there are the saffron cowboys who bring a bad name to the government and the country.
The folks like Mevani and Hardik Patel, and the new sprightliness in the Congress, is the product and function of Modi’s bad policies and poor governance. Modi messed up, so they came to the fore. But now, they are messing up. Especially Mevani.
In his bid to get-successful-quick, Mevani has tied up with Islamists. He has admitted to accepting Rs. 51,000 as a donation from the Popular Front of India (PFI), the terror-linked body in Kerala. His excuse? “If PFI is a dubious group, then what is the man with a 56-inch chest doing? Why has there been no action from him?”
In a way, Mevani has given a clean chit to the organization accused of spreading the ideology of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. But this is like saying that just because a lower court has acquitted the accused in the 2G case in a bad judgment, there was no wrong-doing involved in spectrum allocation. Of just because Modi, because of some political calculations, is not acting against Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Robert Vadra, P. Chidambaram, etc., in UPA scams, they had no involvement. Perhaps, they were not involved, but this can be known only after they are tried and acquitted. The Modi government, on its part, has done little to bring them to book. It is senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy who is doing the job that the government should have been doing.
Further, Mevani, like others, hasn’t come up with any positive agenda for the Dalits whom he claims to represent and the country at large. Instead, all of them have decided to fight culture wars—the wars which, as I mentioned earlier, the BJP fights with remarkable dexterity. A first information report or FIR has been filed against him for inciting violence in a “provocative speech.” In response, he said, “Not a word in my speech is inflammatory. I did not even go to the spot of Bhima-Koregaon event. Despite being in Maharashtra, I did not participate in the bandh organized by the Dalits.”
Only legal scrutiny will prove, and a court of law of will decide, whether he is correct, but what is indisputable is the fact that he is seen regularly with the break-India gang. A messiah can ill-afford to be in the company of traitors.